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Two Morgan Stanley Branch Managers Depart

May 11, 2017

Two Morgan Stanley branch managers left the wirehouse this week, AdvisorHub writes.

Justin Ferdula, who’s been with Morgan Stanley for 13 years and headed its Rockefeller Center branch in Manhattan, left the firm for RBC Wealth Management, according to the industry website. RBC plans to announce his role shortly, an company spokeswoman tells AdvisorHub. Michael Armstrong, who had previously led the private wealth group at Morgan Stanley, now runs RBC’s U.S. wealth management arm, according to the website.

Meanwhile, Jeffrey Crystal, an 18-year Morgan Stanley veteran, was “permitted to resign” from a Paramus, N.J. branch earlier this month, according to the BrokerCheck report cited by AdvisorHub.

According to the website, his departure may have been driven by the February arrest of a broker within the Paramus branch. In February, the SEC and the U.S. Attorney’s office charged Barry Connell with stealing around $5 million from his clients through unauthorized transfers.

Morgan Stanley had fired Connell in November over the transfers. Crystal’s BrokerCheck report notes that the wirehouse doesn’t believe Crystal knew of the broker’s misconduct, AdvisorHub writes. Crystal had reported Connell’s unusually long absence to his superiors but nonetheless may have been pinned for supervisory failures, sources familiar with the matter tell the website.

A Morgan Stanley spokeswoman declined comment to AdvisorHub on the issue and didn’t say whether Ferdula and Crystal’s roles have been filled.

This month’s departures follow two other recent branch manager exits, according to the website. In March, David Turetzky, another Midtown Manhattan branch manager, left suddenly after a 17-year career with Morgan Stanley, AdvisorHub writes.

Robert Peyreigne, a complex manager overseeing four branches in New York state who’s been with the firm for about a decade, jumped ship in November to lead the wealth management arm of Jefferies Group, according to the publication.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the Advisor Hub article cited in this story, click here.